FMCSA declares Montana bus company an imminent hazard

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | Monday, March 25, 2013

A Montana-based bus company has been ordered out of service for failing to perform safety inspections on its vehicles before dispatching them to pick up passengers.

Rimrock Stages Inc., of Billings, MT, which also does business as Rimrock Trailways, has been declared an imminent hazard to public safety, according to a release from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

FMCSA initiated an investigation of Rimrock Stages on March 19, and determined the company does not have adequate safety management practices to ensure that its commercial motor vehicles are systematically and properly inspected, repaired and maintained.

The agency also found the carrier “failed to repair its commercial motor vehicles in a competent manner, failed to ensure that its mechanics are knowledgeable and qualified, failed to ensure that its commercial motor vehicles meet minimum safety standards, and knowingly dispatched vehicles with safety defects,” according to the release.

FMCSA inspected eight commercial motor vehicles operated by Rimrock Stages last week and discovered serious noncompliance and safety defects during every vehicle inspection. Inspectors discovered 79 violations of federal safety requirements, including 33 violations that individually required the vehicles to be placed out of service.

Rimrock Stages and Rimrock Trailways offer scheduled intercity bus service, chartered buses, and package delivery service between Montana and North Dakota. A notice on the homepage of the company website says, “Effective 3/22/2013 all Rimrock Stages service is indefinitely suspended until further notice.” The company has also shut down its Twitter account.

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